Decoding the 4 C's

Did you know that diamonds were formed approximately 90 miles below the surface in the Earth’s mantle 1 to 3 billion years ago as a result of extreme pressure and heat?  Diamonds rise through deep volcanic eruptions which then allows for their mining.  As result of this intense formation process, the majority of diamonds form with imperfections. Discovering a diamond without or with very little natural imperfections is rare and as such, are the most valuable.

In the 1940s, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created the 4 C’s grading system by outlining four criteria that quickly became the globally accepted diamond grading standard: Color, Cut, Clarity, and Carat.  Despite this standardized grading system, purchasing a diamond can still be a very difficult and confusing decision.  Which C should one focus on most?  Which C has the most impact on value?  What is an ideal grading combination of the 4 C’s?  These questions, amongst others, are commonly asked by a consumer when making this important purchase.

A diamond’s Color can range from colorless to light (yellow), which is measured on a D-Z scale, with D being colorless and the most valuable. A diamond’s Clarity is defined as the amount and type of imperfection characteristics within the stone and ranges from Flawless to Included, with Flawless being the most valuable.  Once mined, diamonds are professionally Cut, and the quality of the Cut is determined by how much light return giving it the maximum amount of brilliance.  A diamond’s Carat is simply its weight.

What do I typically recommend?  In my professional opinion, I suggest that my clients place the most emphasis on a diamond’s Cut.   The quality of a diamond’s Cut will have a substantial impact on its appearance, sparkle, brilliance, and overall excellence.  Additionally, a diamond’s Color and Clarity can be adversely effected if its Cut is of low quality.  It will simply look dull and lifeless. 

There are however, numerous combinations of the 4 C’s that can drastically effect the pricing of a stone.  The grading scales are in-depth and difficult to understand and I work hands on with our clients to ensure they obtain a diamond with the right balance of the 4 C’s within their budget. 

BRIAN & NICK has an easy, hassle-free approach to helping you select your diamond.  Our process begins with an initial consultation, either by phone or in-person, to review your style preferences and budget.  I then curate a selection of diamonds to present to you in person.  As we examine the diamonds together, I provide an in-depth education of the 4 C’s to assist you in making the most informed purchase.  The purchase of a diamond is very often one of the most important decision in someone’s life and BRIAN & NICK is here to be your trusted, experienced professional assist in the process.


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